Top 30 Toughest Animals In The World

This world is inhabited by all kinds of creatures, from the most peaceful to those that can cause a lot of damage in a very short span of time. Even though humans have developed weapons and protective gear for the most extreme cases of violent animals, if you know which animals can be dangerous when disturbed, you’ll steer clear of them. Just check this list!

#30. Deer

Deer are native to all continents except Australia and Antarctica, and many species have been widely introduced beyond their original habitats as game animals. One species, the reindeer (also known as the caribou), has been domesticated. Some swamp and island species are endangered, but most continental species are flourishing under protection and good management.

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Although a number of different factors can be dangerous to people, probably the most important thing is the size of deer will often leave humans as the smaller being, and there are only a few animals that will be larger than people. However, if their young are threatened they can charge and kick anyone that they see as a threat, and this is something that has happened a number of times in areas where deer are living in public parkland and are more familiar with people.

#29. Cone Snail

Cones inject a paralyzing toxin by means of a dart; a few of the larger species have fatally stung humans. The usual preys are worms and mollusks, and a few cones capture fish. The various cone shell toxins are designed to interfere with a victim’s nervous system and work by binding to specific cell surface receptors (glycoproteins) and ion channels.

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Most cone species occur in the Indo-Pacific region. Throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was known from fewer than 100 specimens, making it the most valuable shell in the world. In 1969 divers discovered the animal’s habitat in the sandy seafloor near the Philippines and Indonesia. Hundreds of specimens have been collected since, and thus the shell’s value has diminished significantly.

#28. Belcher’s Sea Snake

The Belcher sea snake is the most poisonous sea species since its venom is 100 times more deadly than the most poisonous terrestrial species. Still, it is not dangerous for humans as they hardly bite and when it does, it doesn’t release all their venom. This means that only one-quarter of all bitten humans will be poisoned. However, with just a few milligrams of this toxin, it would be enough to kill over 100 men.

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These snakes descended from land snakes of Australia and evolved to aquatic reptiles. The only difference between land snakes and sea snakes are small adaptations to the marine environment, as the end of its tail, which is more like the rest of fish. Because of the fact that they are cold-blooded animals and need warm water and sun to maintain their body heat, they don’t descend beyond 100 m underwater.

#27. Prairie Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes are found from southern Canada to central Argentina but are most abundant and diverse in the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Adults usually vary in length from 1.6 to 6.6 feet, but some can grow to 8.2 feet. A few species are marked with transverse bands, but most rattlesnakes are blotched with dark diamonds, hexagons, or rhombuses on a lighter background, usually gray or light brown

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Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will not attack humans if unprovoked; in fact, they are quite shy and timid. However, they are venomous and can be dangerous if molested or handled. The South American rattlesnake has the largest distribution of any rattlesnake; it ranges from Mexico to Argentina and is the only rattlesnake found throughout Central and South America. Also to be noted is that their venom attacks the nervous system more strongly than that of other rattlesnakes.

#26. Bald Eagles

The bald eagle is actually a sea eagle that commonly occurs inland along rivers and large lakes. The adult male is about 36 inches long and has a wingspan of 6.6 feet. Females, which grow somewhat larger than males, may reach 43 inches in length and have a wingspan of 8 feet. Both sexes are dark brown, with a white head and tail. The bird is not actually bald; its name derives from the conspicuous appearance of its white-feathered head. The beak, eyes, and feet are yellow.

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The species is an opportunistic forager that eats a variety of mammalian, avian, and reptilian prey, but generally prefers fish over other food types. It often scavenges prey items when available, pirates food from other species when it can, and captures its own prey only as a last resort. Bald eagles pluck fish out of the water with their talons, and sometimes they follow seabirds as a means of locating fish.

#25. Moose

Moose inhabit the northern parts of North America and Eurasia. In North America four subspecies are recognized, including the eastern moose, which inhabits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States; the northwestern moose, which inhabits central Canada and North Dakota, Minnesota, and northern Michigan; the Shiras moose, which inhabits the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada; and the Alaskan moose, which inhabits Alaska and northwestern Canada.

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Moose are bold and readily defend themselves against large carnivores. During calving season, moose cows face grizzly and black bears. In late winter when the snow is deep and moose cannot flee, they defend themselves against wolf packs. They choose hard, level ground with little snow for maneuverability, such as ridges blown free of snow or frozen lakes with a thin cover of snow. When hindered by deep snow, they back into dense conifers to protect their vulnerable inguinal region and lower haunches from attacks by wolves.

#24. Red Fox

Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. The red fox’s resourcefulness has earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.

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Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game, but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food. Like a cat’s, the fox’s thick tail aids its balance, but it has other uses as well. A fox uses its tail as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.

#23. Grizzly Bears

Grizzlies are massive animals with humped shoulders and an elevated forehead that contributes to a somewhat concave profile. The fur is brownish to buff, and the hairs are usually silver- or pale-tipped to give the grizzled effect for which they are named. Large adult grizzlies may be about 8 feet long and weigh about 410 kg. The Kodiak bear is the largest living land carnivore and may attain a length of more than 3 meters and a weight of 780 kg.

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Omnivorous animals, grizzlies feed on berries, plant roots and shoots, small mammals, fish, calves of many hoofed animals, and carrion. Food is often cached in shallow holes, and grizzlies dig readily and vigorously in search of rodents. Each spring the bear marks the boundary of its territory by rubbing trees, scratching bark, or even biting large pieces from the trunks of trees.

#22. Raccoons

A stout animal with short legs, a pointed muzzle, and small erect ears, the North American raccoon is 30 to 36 inches long, including the 10-inch tail. Weight is usually about 22 pounds or less, although large males may grow to more than 44 pounds. Those living in northern regions are larger than their southern counterparts. The North American raccoon’s fur is shaggy and coarse, and its color is iron-gray to blackish with brown overtones.

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Raccoons adapt extremely well to human presence, even in towns and cities, where they den in buildings and thrive on a diet of garbage, pet food, and other items available to them. As the availability of food is the primary factor affecting the abundance of raccoons, the highest population densities are often found in large cities. In the wild raccoons live in a wide variety of forest and grassland habitats. Most often found in proximity to water, they are also proficient swimmers. They climb readily and usually den in riverbanks, hollow trees or logs, or abandoned beaver lodges.

#21. Beavers

Beavers are the largest rodents in North America and Eurasia and the second largest rodents worldwide. Their bodies extend up to 31 inches long and generally weigh 35–66 pounds, with the heaviest recorded at more than 85 pounds. They live in streams, rivers, marshes, ponds, and shorelines of large lakes and construct dams of branches, stones, and mud, forming ponds that often cover many hectares. Ecologists often refer to beavers as “ecosystem engineers” because of their ability to alter the landscapes in which they live.

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Beavers are colonial and primarily nocturnal. Their characteristically dome-shaped island lodges are built of branches plastered with mud. In marshes, lakes, and small rivers, beavers may instead construct bank lodges, and in large rivers and lakes, they excavate bank dens with an underwater entrance beneath tree roots or overhanging ledges.

#20. Cobra

Cobras, with their threatening hoods and intimidating upright postures, are some of the most iconic snakes on Earth. Their elegance, prideful stance and venomous bite have made them both respected and feared. Cobras are Elapids, a type of poisonous snake with hollow fangs fixed to the top jaw at the front of the mouth. These snakes cannot hold their fangs down on prey so they inject venom through their fangs.

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Cobras are large snakes; many species reach more than 6 feet long  According to Cape Snake Conservation, the forest cobra is the largest true cobra, reaching 10 feet, and Ashe’s spitting cobra is 9 feet, making it the world’s largest spitting cobra. The smallest species is the Mozambique spitting cobra, which is about 4 feet long. King Cobras, the longest of all venomous snakes, can reach 18 feet.

#19. White-Tailed Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs have a short tail, small rounded ears, and short legs with long, strong claws. These rodents weigh up to 3.7 pounds, with a body between 11 to 13 inches long. The slightly flattened tail is 3–12 cm (1–5 inches) long, and, depending on the species, its tip is black, white, or fringed with white around a gray center.

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The black-tailed and Mexican prairie dogs do not hibernate and are periodically active during winter; they do not store food in their burrows. During winter when food is scarce, black-tails remain in their burrows for long periods without food or water, using physiological adaptations to control their metabolism. The other three species become torpid in October or November and emerge in March or April.

#18. Mountain Lions

Pumas, also called mountain lion, cougar, or panther, are large brownish New World cat comparable in size to the jaguar, the only other large cat of the Western Hemisphere. The puma, a member of the family Felidae, has the widest distribution of any New World mammal, with a range extending from southeastern Alaska to southern Argentina and Chile. Pumas live in a variety of habitats, including desert scrub, chaparral, swamps, and forests, but they avoid agricultural areas, flatlands, and other habitats lacking cover.

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Mountain lions are solitary animals. They are very territorial and actively avoid other cats except during courtship. Their ranges can vary in size from 10 square miles to around 370 square miles, although females tend to have smaller ranges than males. Mountain lions are active hunters and may travel long distances in search of food. They hunt alone and attack from behind, breaking the neck of their prey by biting it at the base of the skull. After killing their prey, they will bury it and leave it, coming back to feed on it when hungry.

#17. Africanized Honey Bees

The Africanized bee is a hybrid species of the Western honey bee. These so-called killer bees were established when bees from southern Africa and local Brazilian honey bees mated. The Africanized bee was first identified in Brazil in the 1950s, but it quickly spread through Central and South America after a handful of swarms escaped quarantine. Then, in 1990, the first permanent Africanized bee colonies arrived in Texas from Mexico.

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Because Africanized honeybees look so similar to European honeybees, contacting a licensed pest control professional is the best way to know if there is an infestation. Look for signs of nests in unexpected places. Be careful around holes in the ground, especially when mowing the lawn or otherwise maintaining property. If you live within 100 miles of an area where Africanized honeybees are common, it is not recommended to approach any nest.

#16. Swans

Swans are gracefully long-necked, heavy-bodied, big-footed birds that glide majestically when swimming and fly with slow wingbeats and with necks outstretched. They migrate in diagonal formation or V-formation at great heights, and no other waterfowl moves as fast on the water or in the air.

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Once threatened with extinction (fewer than 100 birds were counted in the United States in 1935), the trumpeter swan has made a strong comeback in the national parks of the western United States and Canada, but the total population in the mid-1970s was only about 2,000. It is the largest swan, about 5.5 feet long, with a 10-foot wingspan, but it weighs less than the mute swan, which at 50 pounds is the heaviest flying bird.

#15. Brazilian Wandering Spider

The Brazilian wandering spiders are sometimes also referred to as banana spiders because they are frequently found on banana leaves. They have an aggressive defense posture, in which they raise their front legs straight up into the air. Brazilian wandering spiders are poisonous to humans. Their venom is toxic to the nervous system, causing symptoms such as salivation, irregular heartbeat, and prolonged, painful erections in men.

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After a human is bitten by one of these spiders, he or she may experience initial symptoms such as severe burning pain at the site of the bite, sweating and goosebumps. Within 30 minutes, symptoms become systemic and include high or low blood pressure, fast or a slow heartbeat, nausea, abdominal cramping, hypothermia, vertigo, blurred vision, convulsions and excessive sweating associated with shock. People who are bitten by a Brazilian wandering spider should seek medical attention immediately.

#14. Koalas

The koala is about 24 to 33 inches long and weighs up to 31 pounds. Virtually tailless, the body is stout and gray, with a pale yellow or cream-colored chest and mottling on the rump. The broad face has a wide, rounded, leathery nose, small yellow eyes, and big fluffy ears. The feet are strong and clawed; the two inner digits of the front feet and the innermost digit of the hind feet are opposable for grasping.

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Formerly killed in huge numbers for their fur, especially during the 1920s and ’30s, koalas dwindled in number from several million to a few hundred thousand. In the southern part of their range, they became practically extinct except for a single population in Gippsland, Victoria. Some were translocated onto small offshore islands, especially Phillip Island, where they did so well that these koalas were used to restock much of the original range in Victoria and southern New South Wales.

#13. Boomslang

The Boomslang is an extremely dangerous, venomous snake species found in sub-Saharan Africa in the central and southern regions of the continent. The boomslang is most abundant in Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, but the species has been reported as far north as southern Chad and Nigeria, and as far east as eastern Guinea.

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The Boomslang is a diurnal and almost exclusively arboreal snake, it is extremely agile and capable of climbing trees and gliding through the tree branches when hunting. During the colder weather, they will brumate for moderate periods inside the enclosed bird’s nests. Their coloring helps to camouflage these snakes in their arboreal habitats. Adult boomslangs will average between 4 and 6,5 feet in length and weigh anywhere from 175 g to 510 g.

#12. Cape Buffalo

The Cape buffalo is the only member of the buffalo and cattle tribe that occurs naturally in Africa. The Cape buffalo is not very tall as it stands only 51–59 inches tall and has relatively short legs, but it is massive, weighing around 935–1,910 pounds. Bulls are about 220 pounds heavier than cows, and their horns are thicker and usually wider, up to 40 inches across, with a broad shield covering the forehead.

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Their preferred habitat includes refuge from heat and danger in the form of woodland, thickets, or reeds, pastures with medium to tall grass (preferably but not necessarily green), and access to water, wallows, and mineral licks. The largest populations occur in well-watered savannas, notably on floodplains bordering major rivers and lakes, where herds of over 1,000 are not uncommon.

#11. Golden Poison Dart Frog

Poison frogs inhabit the forests of the New World tropics from Nicaragua to Peru and Brazil, and a few species are used by South American tribes to coat the tips of darts and arrows. Poison frogs, or dendrobatids, are small and range from 0.5 to 0.75 inch from snout to vent in the minute poison frogs to about 2.6 inches in the skunk frog.

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Aposematic or warning coloration is common among distasteful and poisonous species of many plants and animals. The coloration of poison frogs commonly includes reds, oranges, yellows, and even bright blues and greens on a black or dark background. Not all dendrobatids are so poisonous or brightly colored; many are patterned with shades of brown and well camouflaged, and their skin secretions are generally nontoxic and nonirritating.

#10. Giant Anteater

The giant anteater, sometimes called the ant bear, is the largest member of the anteater family and is best known in the tropical grasslands of Venezuela, where it is still common. It was once found in the lowland forests of Central America and still lives in the Amazon basin southward to the grasslands of Paraguay and Argentina. Gray with a diagonal white-bordered black stripe on each shoulder, the giant anteater attains a length of about 6 feet, including the long bushy tail, and weighs up to 88 pounds.

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Females bear a single offspring after a gestation period of about 190 days. A young anteater looks identical, except in size, to an adult, and, from two or three weeks following birth until it is about a year old, it rides on its mother’s back as she travels. The home ranges of individual anteaters living in the Llanos overlap and can cover more than 6,000 acres. The giant anteater is the longest-lived anteater; one in captivity reportedly survived 25 years.

#9. Wild Boar

The wild boar—which is sometimes called the European wild boar—is the largest of the wild pigs and is native to forests ranging from western and northern Europe and North Africa to India, the Andaman Islands, and China. It has been introduced to New Zealand and to the United States, a country in which it mixed with native feral species). It is bristly haired, grizzled, blackish or brown in color, and stands up to 35 inches tall at the shoulder.

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From earliest times, because of its great strength, speed, and ferocity, the wild boar has been one of the favorite beasts of the chase. In some parts of Europe and India, it is still hunted with dogs, but the spear has mostly been replaced with the gun. In Europe, the boar is one of the four heraldic beasts of the chase and was the distinguishing mark of Richard III, king of England. As an article of food, the boar’s head was long considered a special delicacy.

#8. Slow Loris

Lorises are arboreal and nocturnal, curling up to sleep by day. They have soft gray or brown fur and can be recognized by their huge eyes encircled by dark patches and by their short index fingers. They move with great deliberation through the trees and often hang by their feet, with their hands free to grasp food or branches. Lorises are related to the pottos and angwantibos of Africa; together they constitute the family Lorisidae.

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Lorises are often hunted for food, used in traditional medicines, or collected for the pet trade. Many species are vulnerable to habitat loss as their living space is converted into agricultural or grazing land. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), all species except the gray slender loris are considered threatened.

#7. Spotted Hyenas

Spotted hyenas are the largest of three hyena species. Brown and striped hyenas are the other two. Although hyenas appear similar to dogs, they are actually more closely related to cats. They live throughout much of Africa and eastwards through Arabia to India. Spotted hyenas live together in large groups called clans that may include up 80 individuals and are led by females.

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Spotted hyenas have good hearing and sharp eyesight at night. They are fast and can run for long distances without tiring. Packs work together effectively to isolate a herd animal, sometimes one that is ill or infirm, and pursue it to the death. The victors often squabble over the spoils, either among themselves or with other powerful animals like lions.

#6. Heck Cattle

Heck cattle come in a wide range of different colors, due to the extensive crossbreeding. Bulls can have a black coat, with light eel stripe, while cows are usually red/brown in color. Some heck bulls are known to have a light saddle on their back, while black cows are also pretty common. Other colors have been reported also, with some cows being a beige or grey color and also some with white patches, similar to Friesian cattle.

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The breed has different horns from the Auroch breed also. They usually curve in an upward or outward direction, though they do not reach the same length or width as horns of Auroch cattle do, up to 100cms in length and 10cms plus in diameter. Their horns often resemble horns of grey cattle. On average, a Heck bull can reach up to 1.4ms in height, with cows up to 1.3m. Mature bulls will weigh up to 600kgs and cows the same. Heck bulls are similar in size to domestic breeds. This is a lot lighter than Auroch bulls, which weighed up to 1000kgs

#5. Black Mamba

The average black mamba is 6.6–8.2 feet long, with a maximum length of 14 feet. Despite its name, the snake is not black. Instead, it ranges in color from gray to dark brown, with a lighter underside. The black actually refers to the color of the inside of its mouth; green mambas and other snakes have white mouths. The black mamba is found in rocky savannas and lowland forests.

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However, if disturbed or cornered, the snake may rear up and threaten with an open mouth and a slightly expanded or flattened neck (or hood) before striking; once a black mamba attacks, it will bite its victim repeatedly. Its extremely toxic venom, two drops of which will reportedly kill most humans, attacks both the nervous system and the heart.

#4. Gray Wolf

Gray wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes. Though they once nearly disappeared from the lower 48 states, today wolves have returned to the Great Lakes, the northern Rockies and the Southwestern United States. Wolves eat ungulates, or large hoofed mammals, like elk, deer, moose and caribou, as well as beaver, rabbits and other small prey

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Wolves live, travel and hunt in packs of 7 to 8 animals on average. Packs include the mother and father wolves (called the alphas), their pups and older offspring. The alpha female and male are typically the pack leaders that track and hunt prey, choose den sites and establish the pack’s territory. Wolves develop strong social bonds within their packs.

#3. Deathstalker Scorpion

The Palestinian yellow scorpion, also known as the Deathstalker Scorpion, has a length ranging from 1.1 to 3.0 inches with an average of 2.2 inches and a maximum weight of 2.5 grams. Two eyes are visible on the top of the head, while the other pairs are along both frontal sides of the head. Thanks to its name we know that it is yellow, but apart from that, we can observe that the areas of its cephalothorax and abdomen contain evident horizontal stripes in gray color.

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In the middle of this region, we can see a dark vertical line that extends from the head to the beginning of the tail. The tail has a dark part that contrasts with the yellow color of the rest of the body. This section is found just before the telson and is a way of identifying them, although it is not entirely reliable since other species also have this characteristic and cause confusion. However, it is a warning signal.

#2. Wolverine

Wolverine, also called glutton, carcajou, or skunk bear is a member of the weasel family that lives in cold northern latitudes, especially in timbered areas, around the world. It resembles a small, squat, broad bear 26–36 inches long, excluding the bushy, 5–10-inch tail; its shoulder height is 14–18 inches, and it weighs around 20–66 pounds.

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Wolverines eat a bit of vegetarian fare, like plants and berries, in the summer season, but this does not make up a major part of their diet—they are tenacious predators with a taste for meat. Wolverines easily dispatch smaller prey, such as rabbits and rodents, but may even attack animals many times their size, such as caribou, if the prey appears to be weak or injured.

#1. Honey Badger

Honey badgers live in covered and forested regions of Africa and southern Asia. The adult stands 10–12 inches at the shoulder and has a heavily built, thick-skinned body about 24–30 inches long, plus a tail length of 20–30 cm. The ears are rudimentary; the upper body parts are whitish, but the lower parts, its face, and legs are black, and the two colors are sharply separated.

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Honey badgers usually only attack when surprised by predators, which often happens when they are digging – with poor eyesight and their noses in the ground, they can be oblivious to their surroundings. When startled they rush at their assailants, releasing a potent scent from their anal glands, rattling and standing tall with their hackles raised. This usually scares the predator away. Even if a badger is caught, its loose skin enables it to twist around and bite its attacker.

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  • About Author

    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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